Hemp Or Pot? The Question Plaguing Law Enforcement And Vexing Growers


The public opinion towards hemp and marijuana is currently undergoing a tremendous shift in America, reversing nearly a century of thinking towards a plant that has been utilized by humans for medicinal and industrial purposes dating back to an estimated 5000 BC. This movement presents an enormous range of issues, from challenging societal norms to legal ramifications, all of which have been pushed to the forefront of debate amongst both proponents and detractors. That said, federal law has already been implemented that legalizes hemp and has enjoyed widespread support amongst both political parties, while on a state-wide basis marijuana is becoming an increasingly hot-button topic as a number of states have legalized it, others have proposed but not passed legislation, and still others feel it should remain illegal. This has made the federal legalization of hemp an increasingly complex issue, as hemp is nearly indistinguishable from marijuana in its raw form, and as a result intra-state commerce amongst states with differing laws on the matter has created a grey area that is impacting law enforcement and producers alike.

In simple terms, imagine a cultivator of hemp in Kentucky is shipping their product for processing in Colorado, but must travel through a state where marijuana is illegal – such as Oklahoma. If police pull them over, how can they differentiate between hemp and marijuana, which can appear to be one in the same? The answer is that they cannot without testing equipment to determine its legal status. Currently the legal defining threshold is .3%. Over .3% is defined as marijuana. Under .3% is considered hemp. In the past all that was necessary was a simple chemical test that would qualify if any THC was present. Now, with new rules and definitions compliance and enforcement must “quantify” (determine the amount of THC) in a product. So, a scenario would be police would seize a shipment of indistinguishable product, which is perishable. They would also arrest those in possession of it, despite their potential innocence in the matter. And if it’s determined to be a legal crop the police would then be liable for any damage done to the crop during seizure and storage – which could cost local municipalities untold monetary damages, beyond any legal action those arrested may take. This is not a hypothetical question, it is the exact scenario that Oklahoma legal authorities have found themselves in as they seized an 18,000-pound shipment of hemp in January, 2019 worth an estimated $500,000.

One may ask how this could be avoided?

Lab testing / certification would seem to be a simple answer, but when presented with 18,000 pounds of what seems to be marijuana police may not be inclined to trust a certificate originating state lab that illustrates the plant matter in question is in fact adhering to the federally mandated legal limit of .3% THC. Of course, law enforcement could then send a sample for testing themselves to confirm the legality of the product in question – but that can take weeks, in which time the product they’ve seized could degrade, mold and otherwise become worthless, leaving them liable. There is, however, a solution to this conundrum –lab accurate equipment that can be mobilized or at least be accessible for fast accurate quantification of THC levels.

Any mobile test must be reliable, as false positives would quickly trigger their own set of issues. Enter HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography), considered to be the standard for lab testing technology for cannabinoid potency. While this requires a complex set of chemicals that can require a PHD in chemistry to properly prepare, there are pre-prepared solutions that can be easily, quickly, and efficiently employed in the field with minimal training in less than 30 minutes. Such a solution solves the problem of reliability of prior certification as well as the delay of lab testing. While it does create an added monetary burden on law enforcement, it also provides them with the wherewithal to enforce both local and federal legislation. The investment is one worth making to avoid the potential pitfall that Oklahoma law enforcement finds themselves in.

This testing solution provides not only the ability to regulate intrastate hemp commerce, but also enforce local laws about CBD – another increasingly murky legal subject. CBD is also subject to federal law of .3% THC or less, though local legislation differs from state to state. Many products state their THC content as being within federal guidelines, but have nonetheless been subject to seizure by law enforcement concerned about their potency and availability to the public. A mobile testing solution provides agents of the law the ability to test any suspicious product with ease.

This type of testing is not only an aid to law enforcement, but also to those farmers growing hemp and extractors producing hemp-derived products such as CBD. Cultivators can easily document the level of THC in their product during the entire growing cycle, ensuring that no crop surpasses the federal legal level of .3% THC. Not only does this provide them with assurance throughout the growing cycle that their crop will be salable, but it also gives them further insurance and proof should their crop ever be seized by law enforcement.

While hemp and CBD are quickly proving their value commercially and medicinally there is a growing need for clarity and accuracy regarding their chemical content – both for peace of mind for consumers, and enforcement from a legal perspective. As the industry continues to explode, it is imperative that the testing options grow alongside it to ensure transparency. While not as readily available as static testing labs, there are mobile solutions that can match their lab counterparts – and they are becoming increasingly necessary for everyone involved in this fast-growing industry.

David “Cree” Crawford is a seasoned C-Level business development / management executive with over 25 years documented success in developing, operating, and growing successful operations from concept to multi-million dollar organizations. Cree is Co-Founder and President of Green Ocean Sciences Inc. “Ionization Labs”, developers of a cannabis and hemp chemical analytics solution called Cann-ID.



The Cannabis Terpene Terpinolene

While the various benefits of cannabis terpenes are still being studied, current scientific research points to Terpinolene as an effective sedative

The Cannabis Terpene Trans-Nerolidol

Trans-Nerolidol a secondary terpene found in lemongrass, tea tree, and jasmine. It is being researched currently for use as an anti-parasitic and anti-fungal

The Cannabis Terpene Terpinene

Tea tree oil naturally contains Terpinene and this undoubtedly has much to do with the antiseptic, antifungal properties of the tea tree oil

The Cannabis Terpene Sabinene

Sabinene is ranked as the single most important ingredient in essential oils because of the antiseptic nature of this therapeutic terpene.

The Terpene Phytol

Phytol is known as an antioxidant and research is beginning to lead us to believe that it is effective against tumors, as well as convulsions and seizures.

The Terpene Pulegone

Pulegone can work as a muscle relaxer and has also been used for generations as a fever reducer. Some research studies have shown it may also improve memory.

The Terpene Phellandrene

Phellandrene is the topic of many experiments right now that focus on the anti-fungal properties and antibacterial properties of this terpene.

The Terpene Nerolidol

Nerolidol has had plenty of medicinal research because it has been found to be an anti-protozoan. It has treated malaria with great success.

The Cannabis Terpene Menthol

Menthol is also an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. This enables it to help with pain associated with many chronic conditions, such as arthritis.

The Cannabis Terpene Isopulegol

The precursor to menthol, Isopulegol gives a somewhat minty smell to marijuana. Studies on lab rats have concluded that it may be an effective relaxant.

The Cannabis Terpene Isoborneol

As the name seems to imply, Isoborneol is related to the terpene Borneol. It is believed to aid in reducing oxidative stress, and Alzheimer's among other conditions.

The Cannabis Terpene Guaiol

In 2007, Guaiol was found to be a a good antimicrobial agent, particularly against bacteria and fungi. In 2013, Guaiol to be a good insecticide.
Geranyl Acetate

The Cannabis Terpene Geranyl Acetate

Like most terpenes, Geranyl Acetate is a known anti-fungal, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory. Many are beginning to see the potential in plants as medicine

The Cannabis Terpene Fenchol

Rich in antioxidants which are suspected to aid in fending off cancer, as well as boosting the immune system, Fenchol is a secondary cannabis terpene.

The Cannabis Terpene Cymene

Cymene is found in cannabis but also most commonly in thyme and in cumin. Cymene is known for anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, first and foremost.

The Terpene Cedrene

The terpene Cedrine, when combined with other terpenes and cannabinoids, can produce powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

The Cannabis Terpene Camphor

What is Camphor? What are the health benefits of the cannabis terpene Camphor? From where else is Camphor derived?

The Cannabis Terpene Valencene

When combined with cannabinoids such as CBD and THC, the therapeutic effects of Valencene will help you focus, relieve stress, relax and get in the zone.

The Cannabis Terpene Terpineol

What is Terpineol? What conditions can Terpineol treat? Where can the terpene Terpineol be found?
Ocimene Terpene

What is the Cannabis Terpene Ocimene

What is the cannabis terpene Ocimene? What is the medicinal potential of Ocimene? Where can the terpene Ocimene be found?

The Cannabis Terpene Myrcene

What is Myrcene? What conditions can Myrcene treat? Which cannabis strains contain Myrcene?

The Cannabis Terpene Linalool

This terpene has anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit those with arthritis or other autoimmune diseases, such as MS or Fibromyalgia.

The Cannabis Terpene Limonene

As the name seems to imply, the terpene known as Limonene is commonly associated with citrus fruits but is also produced by cannabis.

The Cannabis Terpene Humulene

Humulene is a common terpene shared by cannabis and hops. Hops are the ingredient that gives beer its fragrant aroma and robust flavor.
The Cannabis Terpene Geraniol

The Cannabis Terpene Geraniol

Most commonly found in cannabis, rose oil, lemongrass, lemons and other fruits, Geraniol is a potent anti-fungal which also helps to regulate metabolism.

The Cannabis Terpene Delta 3 Carene

What is Delta 3 Carene? What conditions can Delta 3 Carene treat? Where is Delta 3 Carene found?

The Terpene Caryophyllene

What is Caryophyllene? What are the health benefits of Carophyllene? Which plants create Carophyllene?

The Cannabis Terpene Camphene

What is Camphene? What are the health benefits of the cannabis terpene Camphene? From where else is Camphene derived?

The Terpene Eucalyptol

What is Eucalyptol? In which plants is Eucalyptol found? What are the health benefits of Eucalyptol?
Borneol is derived from Dryobalanops Aromatica

The Cannabis Terpene Borneol

Borneol is a terpene that is widely used in traditional Chinese Medicine. Referred to as “Moxa”, it is used for heart health, anxiety relief, and pain.
Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene

The Cannabis Terpenes Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene

What are the cannabis terpenes Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene ? How do Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene act within the body? What are the medicinal uses of Alpha-pinene and Beta-pinene?
Cannabis Terpene Bisabolol

About the Cannabis Terpene Bisabolol

What is the Cannabis Terpene Bisabolol? How is Bisabolol created? What are the medicinal benefits of Bisabolol?

What is Cannabigerolic Acid – CBGA?

What is CBGA- Cannabigerolic Acid ? What do we know about CBGA? What are the health benefits of CBGA?

What is Cannabigerovarin – CBGV?

Lauded to be the most effective of all the cannabinoids in combating cancer, CBGV is one of over 100 known cannabinoids. What is CBGV and what can it treat?

What is Cannabigerovarinic Acid- CBGVA?

What is CBGVA - Cannabigerovarinic Acid? How is CBGVA created? What are the medicinal benefits of Cannabigerovarinic Acid?

What is Cannabigerol? – CBG

CBG is another in a long list of cannabinoids that many people know absolutely nothing about, but you should. What is CBG? What is the medicinal potential of CBG?

What is Cannabinol – CBN?

CBN, or Cannabinol, bears a large resemblance to CBD (cannabidiol) and provides a host of benefits when it is isolated. It shows a lot of promise, and companies are begging research facilities to explore this cannabinoid compound in greater detail.

What is Cannabichromevarin – CBCV?

What is CBCV? How does CBCV differ from CBC and other cannabinoids? What is the medicinal value of CBCV?

What is Cannabichromene – CBC?

What is CBC? How does CBC differ from other cannabinoids? What are the medicinal uses of CBC?
Cannabis-potency-testing-hemp-potency-testing- CBCA - Cannabichromenic Acid

What is Cannabichromenic Acid – CBCA?

CBCA is one of 112 known cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. When decarboxylation methods are used to heat the compound, it breaks down to CBC.

What is Cannabidivarinic Acid – CBDVA?

What is CBDVA - Cannabidivarinic Acid? How is CBDVA created? What are the medicinal benefits of Cannabidivarinic Acid?

What is Cannabidivarin – CBDV?

What is CBDV? Is CBDV the same as CBD? What is the medicinal potential of CBDV? Where can CBDV be found?

What is -Cannabidiolic Acid – CBDA?

CBDA is not only closely related to the compound CBD (cannabidiol) which is a well-known cannabinoid, it is the predecessor. CBD comes from CBDA.

What is Cannabidiol – CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a phytocompound found in cannabis plants. CBD is a cannabinoid compound which is known to bond with CB2 receptors of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). When CBD bonds with the CB2 receptors, a lipid is formed which helps do a number of things in the body.

What is Tetrahydrocannabivarin Carboxylic Acid – THCVA?

THCVA, in particular, joins the ranks of CBD, THC, CBC, CBGA, THCV and more cannabinoids that are being researched for their usefulness to the body. While CBD and THC are the most well-known of the cannabinoids, as science has continued to expand into cannabis research, and molecular isolation has improved, other cannabinoids have been able to be explored more fully.

What is Tetrahydrocannabivarin – THCV?

What is THCV? How does THCV differ from THC and THCVA? What is the medicinal value of THCV?

What is Tetrahydrocannabinolic Acid – THCA?

What is the Difference Between THC and THCA? How Does THCA Turn Into THC? What are the medicinal benefits of THCA?

What is Delta 8 Tetrahydrocannabinol THC

Learn about Delta-8-Tetracannabinol, how THC-8 interacts with the human body, the medicinal benefits, and the difference between Delta-8-THC and Delta-9-THC

What is Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol – THC

When most people think of THC, they think of the euphoria or high associated with cannabis. While it is true that THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana's psychotropic effects, it is actually a lot more complex than that.

Cannabinoids 101: Main Classes of Cannabinoids

While THC is the most well known of the cannabinoids, there are actually over 100 different cannabinoids present within the cannabis plant. Therapeutically, different cannabinoids have different therapeutic benefits and affect the body in different ways.  

Terpenes 101 – A Guide to Cannabis Terpenes

While primary terpenes largely influence how any individual plant smells, and effect a plant's growth and development, secondary terpenes aid the plant's defense. Whereas the unique aroma carried by each cannabis plant is a product of the primary terpenes present within the plant, the medicinal value of any given cannabis strain is a product of both primary and secondary terpenes combined. 

CBN – Uncovering Yet Another of the Many Beneficial Cannabinoids Found in Cannabis

What is CBN? Learn more about Cannabinol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in Cannabis, and arguably the next big thing in Cannabis therapy for mood, and sleep.


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